Hammond Travel Guide

  • Typical Hammond Scene
    Typical Hammond Scene
    by riorich55
  • Entrance to the park
    Entrance to the park
    by riorich55
  • Old Station Wagon in the Parking Lot
    Old Station Wagon in the Parking Lot
    by riorich55

Hammond Things to Do

  • Environmental Education Center

    The Environmental Education Center is housed in a mutlicolored building covered with a gigantic fish on one side and a gigantic bee on another. Popular with school groups and other youth organizations, it's worth a peek inside to see the indoor trout stream with fully functional wetland. Afterward take a stroll along the George Lake bike trail.Open...

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  • Little Red Schoolhouse

    Constructed in 1869, the Little Red Schoolhouse is one of the oldest buildings in Hammond. Notice the difference in the lower and upper halves of the wall. Builders started with limestone but transporting the stone proved too expensive and midway through construction a clay pit was found at the nearby Little Calumet River.   Although no longer used...

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  • St. John

    This is the church that we got married in, it is a very long way from the back of the church to the front!

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  • Wolf Lake

    Wolf Lake is busy in the warmer months with wind surfers, swimmers, sailboats (there is a small yacht club on the lake), fishermen and an occasional small power boat.In the winter months, you will occasionally see someone ice fishing and when it is really cold and the ice has frozen you will see ice boats. My husband has a small 1 man sailboat and...

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  • Whihala Beach County Park

    Part of the Lake County Park system, this popular lakefront beach covers two cities and is administered by the County, hence the name (WHIting, HAmmond and LAke County.) Established in 1981, although this area has been a popular recreational spot for years. Ammenities include a boat launch, trail, concessions and an exquisite view of the Chicago...

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  • George Lake

    Amidst local industry, this little gem of a lake provides a tranquil spot to do a little bird watching, take a bike ride along the bike trail, talk a stroll with your dog or view the recent handywork of the family of beavers who have been munching on the trees.

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Hammond Hotels

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Hammond Restaurants

  • Hammond dining institution

    October 20, 2007, Phil Smidt's closed their doors after 97 years of business. It's a shame but after 2002 when the Probst family sold the business, it never really was quite the same restaurant.Named after its original owner, Phil Smidt's opened in 1910 in Roby Indiana. The original restaurant was destroyed in 1945 when an underground gas explosion...

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  • Creative Cuisine

    On business trips, I have the reputation of the "guy of finds the good restaurants". So with my reputation on the line last week I did a little study and came up with this little gem of a restaurant in downtown Highland (a suburb of Hammond?), actually just off Kennedy Avenue a few miles south of Hammond.The 13 year old restaurant is situated at...

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  • High priced steaks for high rollers

    Jack Binion's Steakhouse is located at the Horseshoe Casino in Hammond, although it's very close to where I live this is the 1st time that I've been there as the prices are higher here than even the big name steakhouses in Chicago. When I saw that they were participating in Chicago's 3rd annual restaurant week where they have set meals for a...

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Hammond Nightlife

  • Live performances

    The Venue is a live music venue opened in July 2008 at the Horseshoe Casino in Hammond. They've had some really big name acts like the Smashing Pumpkins and Stone Temple Pilots perform there, the live acts range from big name comedians like Jay Leno, Joel McHale and Bill Cosby, some nostaglia acts like Alice Cooper and Bret Michaels of Poison,...

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  • Short run theater

    I drive by the Towle Theater every day on the way to work and often say to myself that we should get tickets to this performance or that performance but never quite get around to it but we finally went to a performance when The Ship of Fools, a West Lafayette improv comedy troupe, made an appearance.The tickets were ridiculously cheap at $5 for...

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  • Hammond Hotels

    10 Hotels in Hammond

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Hammond Transportation

  • Dabs's Profile Photo
    South Shore train

    by Dabs Updated Oct 7, 2008

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    The South Shore railroad has connections to Chicago and as far east as South Bend, Indiana. It generally runs on time but there are construction delays from time to time and service in bad weather-rain or extreme cold-can be delayed.

    The ride to downtown Chicago is about 40 minutes. There are two major stops in Chicago-Van Buren/Michigan at the south end of the loop (good for visiting the Art Institute and the Museum campus) and Randolph/Michigan at the north end (good for visiting Michigan Avenue shopping, State Street shopping, Millennium Park). There are also stops at Pullman and 12th St./Roosevelt Rd (Shedd, Field, Soldier Field).

    Tickets are cheaper if you buy them at the station during busy hours, an additional $1 is tacked on if you buy on the train.

    Regular commuters can buy 10 ride passes (no discount), 25 ride (slight discount) and monthly passes.

    There are reduced one way fares for children 13 or younger, seniors 65 and over, and passengers with disabilities. Children under 13 travel for free with an adult in the off peak hours.

    There are also weekend and family fares, see the website below for more details.

    Fares are significantly cheaper if you travel from the next station, Hegewisch, but you have to pay to park there and you don't in Hammond.

    Related to:
    • Trains

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Hammond Shopping

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    by sambarnett Updated Jan 8, 2003

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    Now located on 165th Street, just east of Calumet Avenue, this place was so much cooler when it was downtown. The trip up there was interesting in and of itself (it's when I discovered the thrill of Cline Avenue/ST 912) but inside was the real fun. Stacks upon stacks of genuine military surplus, God knows from what armies but all good for defending yourself against Commies, the King of England, Nazis or whoever the vogue enemy of the times is.
       Today it's really more of an outdoor, sporting goods type store, manly-men's designer brands like Carhardt and Dickies have replaced the endless rows East German jungle jackets. But you still can find a few bargains, and there's no better place to go for chic olive green gear. The place closes at 6 pm.

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Hammond Local Customs

  • The Frosties

    Every year on the darkest evening of the year (the winter solistice, December 21st), my husband leads a band of "Frosties" over the golf course and through the woods for a reading of the Robert Frost poem "Stopping By Woods on a Snowy Evening". In 2010, Chicago Tribune columnist Barbara Brotman joined us and here is a link to the article she wrote...

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  • Finally I get a meaningful vote!

    In the 19+ years that I have lived in Indiana, the 2008 Presidential primary in May and the general election in November were the 1st time that I actually had a chance to cast a meaningful vote in a Presidential election. There are two major flaws, in my opinion, with the way that we elect the President of our country. The 1st is the primary...

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  • Pierogifest!

    The highlight of the summer in Hammond is undeniably Pierogifest. All Vt-ers need to visit Pierogifest at least once in their lives. All it's important to understand the distinction between and among the various pierogi venders. That's why I'd recommend that if you go, make sure you have a local expert with you who can steer you toward the pierogis...

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Hammond Warnings and Dangers

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    odd fellows

    by sambarnett Written Feb 21, 2003

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    Prevailing grit and rust belt stigma lead some to consider Hammond unsafe. There are some dodgey neighborhoods, but overall Hammond is tidy and safe. The downtown area, while not dead, has more than its fair share of weasley-looking characters doing their thing.

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Hammond Tourist Traps

  • Dabs's Profile Photo
    Horseshoe Casino

    by Dabs Updated Jan 17, 2005

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    The State of Indiana followed the lunacy of Illinois by requiring that casinos be on the water, taking away yet more of the precious natural/recreational nature of Lake Michigan. This windowless boat never leaves the docks although I guess if you are a serious gambler that you probably don't care.

    Originally the casinos had artificial "boarding" times but now there is open access 24 hours a day. At least they have dropped the pretense that this is a real boat.

    The Marina just lost several of it's launching docks for day trip boaters causing quite a mess on the weekends, reportedly due to expansion for Horseshoe.

    Unique Suggestions: Since it's here and not likely going away anytime soon, I suppose I should be encouraging visitors to come as the street in front of my house hasn't been repaved yet.....

    I have heard from friends that the Jack Binion's Steakhouse here is really good but expensive but at least you are getting something for your money instead of just handing it over to Mr. Binion. Lunch is much more affordable than dinner, I suspect the high prices in the evening is due to comped meals, they want the gamblers to think they are getting something expensive.

    Fun Alternatives: The alternative? Give me your money instead, Jack Binion (owner of Horseshoe) doesn't need it.

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Hammond Off The Beaten Path

  • WHITING PIEROGI FESTIVAL

    The WHITING PIEROGI FESTIVALwas held in dowtown Whiting, Indiana, a suburb of Hammond from July 28 to 30,2006. Kristi ( Dabs ) invited us to participate and even wanted Hansi as one of the Babushka Ladies. Hans was more than eager to participate, so I bought him a lacy red dress and made a babushka for him. My neighbour Karen threw in a long string...

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  • Chihuly in Hammond?

    In addition to the Leroy Neiman mural at Mercantile National Bank, Hammond also has several Chihuly chandeliers at the Federal Courthouse in downtown Hammond. I've been inside to have a look but have never had occasion to bring a camera. Maybe if you ask the guards really nicely.....

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  • Carlson Oxbow Park

    From the website first. "Hammond's newest city park, officially dedicated on Wednesday October 7th, 1998. The park is named for George W. Carlson, a thirty-year plus veteran of the Hammond City Council. Mr. Carlson was instrumental in the development of the park. The name "oxbow" comes from the bend in the river which forms the park.""The park...

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Hammond Sports & Outdoors

  • Windsurfers

    Practically year round you can find the windsurfers out on Wolf Lake. With a few exceptions, motorized boats are not allowed on Wolf Lake so this is a perfect place for windersurfers. This picture was taken in March 2005, obviously at this time of the year you need a wetsuit! If we have a warm summer, the lake is fairly small and a wetsuit is not...

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  • Ice boating

    You will frequently see ice boats out on Wolf Lake but my husband takes ours out on George Lake which is much smaller and also much shallower should the ice crack. Me? I don't think that having to cover every inch of my body and still end up being cold sounds like all that much fun :-) Not to mention going 60 mph on a giant ice skate with a...

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  • Lost Marsh Golf Course

    I've had mixed feelings about this project as I've watched it's construction.On the one hand it is a beautiful golf course built on what was once "Bairstow Mountain", a slag (by product of the steel industry) dump. Local citizens had worked for years to try and preserve George Lake, once targeted for sand mining and garbage dumping; this project...

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Hammond Favorites

  • Local wildlife

    Living next to a lake, we see a variety of local wildlife along the shores including swans, geese, egrets, herons and snakes sunning themselves on the 1st warm days of spring. I've seen a few really cool critters when out walking the bike path, one day I saw a red fox slip underneath the fence at Federated Metals, another evening we saw a whole...

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  • STATE BANK OF HAMMOND - 1927

    The best example of the Neo-classical style of architecture remaining in the city is the STATE BANK OF HAMMOND building. Located near the southwest corner of the intersection of Calumet Avenue and Sibley streets, (5444-5446 Calumet Avenue) the building, designed by architect Karl Vitzthum, was dedicated on September 10, 1927.The buildings' majestic...

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  • Northern States Life Insurance Company...

    I don't usually care for Neoclassical architecture, but this building on Hohman Avenue, just south of downtown, has some interesting detail work. It is now home to a Montessori school and my boss does the pictures here. I see this building often.

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